Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P490 (11-08-19)
It so encouraging, and so thrilling, to hear someone ask what it means to be born again, and then to readily accept the message, and become a child of God. When every day you share truth, and people hear truth, accept it as truth and see someone start walk in a new life. There is no greater joy to see people walking in truth.
Sometimes we get bogged down in our daily lives, being bombarded with legalism or teaching that just weighs us down. The day to day mundane things we do just seems to weigh us down at times. But to know that the time we ourselves get alone with the Lord, letting Him teach us the meaning of the word of God, and see the work God is doing in us. Then, as we simply share truth that has been revealed to us, that truth not only changes our own lives, but it overflows into the lives of others. That makes living so worthwhile.
Listen as Bob George shares with a young seminary student getting bogged down in his studies in theology that seems to distract him from being taught by the Holy Spirit. At times even, incorrect teaching is being told him, and he also feels this push towards legalism. Bob shares truth with him to help him to keep focused on being taught of the Holy Spirit. He reminds him of some basic foundational truths, on what salvation is, and clarification on the meaning of 1 John 1:9, and refers him to the “A Scriptural Journey to Discover the Grace of God”.
Bob often shares from this book. It is all scripture. It is what Bob teaches out of in seminars with people across the country. The book is an excellent resource on the deity of Christ, the validity of the word of God, the New Covenant in contrast to the Old Covenant, the finality of the cross, forgiveness of sin, and the issue of life, and salvation. The book explains more thoroughly what salvation is.
Listen also as Bob shares with Betty how someone is born again. It is not very often someone calls and says, “Tell what I must do to be saved?”. In the case of Betty, she asked, “What is the process of being born again?”. She had such a sweet spirit about her and just wanted to know. She was not familiar with the phrase ”born again” and had heard Bob share on this before, and so she called to get more detailed understanding on what that meant. Listen as Bob helps her to understand what Jesus accomplished for her and leads her into praying to receive new life in Christ Jesus.
Bobbie from San Diego, CA
Bobbie: I had a question. I listened to your message about forgiveness. I am going to a bible college in southern California. I am learning a lot of good theological stuff but it does not seem my spiritual walk is getting any better. I am going through a roller coaster of emotions. It seems like legalism to me. Is there a way to identify, the line between legalism and living in grace?
Bob: I heard a testimony from Chuck Swindoll, a respected spiritual leader. Chuck Swindoll said it took him four years to get through seminary and twenty years to get over it. So this is not an unusual experience among young people in seminary. Young men have hearts that are aflame for Christ and then before long are burned out. Why? The reason for that, Bobby, is due to a lack of emphasis on the dependence of the Spirit of God to understand the meaning of the word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Bob: When you are talking about what God has done for us freely, you are talking about grace. In order to understand the totality of grace, God has to reveal that message to you. It seems bible colleges and seminaries are bent on proving that wrong. Hermeneutics, the study of Hebrew and Greek seems to be saying you don’t need the Spirit of God. It is as if you must do these special techniques in bible study to understand the scriptures. So the emphasis is misplaced away from depending on the Holy Spirit to teach you and more on these hermeneutics and the study of Greek and Hebrew.
Bob: Much of what is taught in seminary are techniques in understanding the bible such hermeneutics or the study of Greek and Hebrew along with learning details on facts in the bible. The most dynamic learning I received was in home bible studies and the most boring in institutional learning. I never learned anything in institutionalized learning except facts. That is dry and that is dead. That is what happens to all of us.
Bob: Yet the bible is not written for that purpose. The bible is written so someone can get to know the author. This is so unlike any other book, such as in the fields of science, math or biology. The Bible is the only book one studies to understand the author. In other classes, you study to get a grade and move on. We do not study a book to get to know the author. You generally do not study a book written by Einstein to get to know Einstein. No, you study Einstein to know more about the theory of relativity. But to understand grace, you must get to know the author of the scriptures, and God is the author.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Bob: In John 5:39-40, Jesus confronted the Pharisees in regards to their diligent study yet reproved them for failing to come to Christ for life. The purpose of the Bible is to get to know Christ. You can survive in that atmosphere of seminary but you have to divorce yourself from it. You have to say to yourself: “I am going to class and learn some facts but as far as understanding what the bible means I am going to let the Holy Spirit teach me.” You can teach people what you have learned about the bible says. But until the Spirit teaches you what it means then you only teach them what you taught yourself but not the Holy Spirit. And even what I have learned from the Holy Spirit is limited. I can only teach what God has revealed so far to me, and I myself am still growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But until the Holy Spirit reveals that to you, then you have not been taught. We are not there as a teacher to take the place of the Holy Spirit, who is the teacher. We are limited.
Bob: Does that help, Bobbie?
Bobbie: Yes, definitely.
Bobbie: Now the issue of forgiveness is emphasized more than anything else in bible college, as in 1 John 1:9, which is taught in error. You hear them say to be on your face before God every day, confessing your sins every day. I have read what you said before on this and it makes a lot of sense.
Bob: Let us look at Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10. There are a lot of people that God would say to them that they have never repented.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Bob: So what does the phrase “fallen away” mean? A lot of people God would say to them that they have never repented. It would be as if God said: “You have never changed your mind in regards to forgiveness. You cannot return to where you have never been. You can’t come back because you have never been there.”
Bob: In regards to the Jew, he is going back to the day of atonement. When talking to a Catholic, he is going back to the confessional booth. When talking to a Protestant, he is going back to 1 John 1:9 to get forgiveness again. All three of those, are in many cases, are people who have never repented. They have heard about it. They have tasted it. They never repented in the first place. They are either not understanding what Jesus accomplished when he shed his blood on the cross. They never came to trust that the work Jesus came to do for him is finished, requiring nothing of man but to believe in what he did. He never understood the grace of God so was never saved in the first place.
Bob: What does the phrase mean “who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance?” If you fall from something, you have to fall to something. They say they held on to grace but then are defending the law. What are they talking about? They are talking about bringing Christ for more forgiveness. Such a person is quite possibly in a situation where he has never repented.
20 It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him – all things in heaven and on earth – for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood. 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. 22 He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you – nothing left that he could even chide you for; 23 the only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world. And I, Paul, have the joy of telling it to others.
Bob: Essentially, the Jews were shifting from trusting Jesus to save them. Or rather, they never repented. They never changed their minds in regards to the law to even come to Christ to save them. Christ has already made provision for the forgiveness of sin by his death on the cross. He made peace with God for all by his blood. Sins of the world have already been forgiven. Come to Christ and believe what he has already provided for you. So when you ask God to forgive you of sins, you are essentially putting Christ back on the cross again, exposing him to public disgrace. He died once to never die again. Why put him on the cross again in your mind? That is an insult to the eternal payment of sin by his death. That is not acting in faith, and is not saving faith.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Bob: You can’t sin against the knowledge of truth unless you have heard the knowledge of the truth. Many people have never heard about the finality of the cross. They keep short accounts with God, going back to the confessional booth or day of atonement. When you do hear the message, then the scripture refers to those who keep sinning against the knowledge of the truth. It is finished, paid in full, sins and lawless acts are remembered no more, and where these have been forgiven there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Bob: If walk by faith, then thank him for the forgiveness you have. The only things scriptures instruct is to confess your sins to one another. And that is what we are doing is sinning against one another. That is who we are basically sinning against is one another. God is not looking for us to be groveling, getting on your face, and doing what Martin Luther did, trying to beat his flesh into obedience. Rejoice and quit making a mockery of the blood of the covenant. You have been sanctified.
Bob: Live in hilarity over the fact God took away your sins in the eyes of God, never to be remembered again. That is the motivation for confessing sins to another. If you insulted someone, go to him. You are essentially saying: “I can thank God for what He did but it hasn’t been taken away from you yet.” That is the the reason for confessing sins to one another. Traditions of men is to beat yourself to death. How are we ever to keep slate clean? It is impossible for man. That is why we have need of the grace of God, who never counts our sins against us.
Bobbie: Calvary Chapel Bible College is where I am going to. This is where this teaching is coming from.
Bob: We had a wonderful relationship with Calvary Chapel and has been open to what we have been teaching. If people have problems with what is being taught, then let us come together and reason together. This idea of the totality of forgiveness is in the bible and is not something that people made up. It is in the bible. Agreeing with God concerning your sins that is something we do all the time. But you are not confessing to get your sins forgiven. That is the difference between the two. When we sin, it is right to ask: “Lord, what do you want me to do about it.” God would respond something like: “Go back to that person and straighten it out.” We all need to ask ourselves: “Is what I am teaching in accordance with truth?”
Bob: I will send you the “A Scriptural Journey to Discover the Grace of God”. It is all scripture. It is what I teach out of in seminars with people across the country. The book is an excellent resource on the deity of Christ, the validity of the word of God, the New Covenant in contrast to the Old Covenant, the finality of the cross, forgiveness of sin, and the issue of life, and salvation. The book explains more thoroughly what salvation is. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. Many people do not understand salvation that way and stop at the cross. Most incorrectly say you are saved when Jesus died for your sins. No, you are not.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Bob: Even before I was ever saved, I was reconciled! How much more, having been reconciled, we are saved through his life.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Bob: Paul said that without resurrection we are to be pitied of all men and are still dead in our sins. Paul said this knowing full well that a cross had occurred where Jesus took away sins, understanding that what was provided then is only received in his resurrection. You don’t come to Christ to get forgiven. You come to Christ to get life. And in that life you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That is not taught. If premise is off, then everything is off. So that is what causes confusion in biblical teaching.
Bobbie: Thank you for your time.
Bob: You are welcome, Bobbie. You call back any time. We would love to hear from you.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Betty from Glendale, CA
Betty: I would like more details. What is the process of being born again?
Bob: What is the process of being born physically the first time, but we do not need to discuss that. But we also have to be born again spiritually. We have to be born physically first, but there is also a second birth, as Jesus said, a spiritual birth. You come by faith to the two things that Jesus had to do for us we could not do for ourselves. We have to understand we are sinners.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Bob: Those sins had to be forgiven. When Christ came he took them away from the sight of God. God dealt with the sin issue for mankind once and for all. It is like a blanket over the entire sins of the world. He certainly did not take them all away down here. He took them away from the eyes of God. The way he did that was through the shed blood of his son, which is of such value, that he took away the entire sins of the world. When that occurred, something called propitiation took place. God looked at the sacrifice and said, “I am satisfied”. Propitiation completely satisfied the wrath of God against sin. Then you have to recognize that the consequences to sin is spiritual death. The only solution to spiritual death is spiritual life. The only life available to us is the resurrected life of Jesus. That is why Paul said that without the resurrection we are to be pitied of all men and are still dead in our sins. So the resurrection is what gives life to the dead. You and I were born alive physically but dead spiritually.
Jesus said this.
10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Bob: So we recognize what God says about our condition, that I am a sinner and I am dead, then I need to look to the provision of God. What did God do to the fact that I am a sinner? He took away my sins at the cross never to see them again. What did he do to correct the problem of my spiritual death? He came to offer you life.
Bob: So when you and I come to recognize our condition and his provision through His Son, in Christ Jesus, and accept that by faith, we are born again of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes to give life to our spirit, to restore in us what was lost in Adam, that being the Spirit of God in us. We are now complete the very first time. Without Jesus living in us, we are like a light bulb without electricity, or like a car without gasoline, or like an oil lamp without oil. We are there but cannot function as God intended us to function. But once we accept that by faith, we are born again by the Spirit of God and he begins a brand new relationship with you and with Jesus.
Betty: How can we be certain that Jesus is living in us?
Bob: It starts in a point in time in history. It does not occur in a process. Just as you are born physically at a certain moment, so too you must be born spiritually. If you are not sure of that Betty, you can be absolutely sure of that today. I can tell your heart is open. If you want to settle that issue today, like driving a stake in the ground so to speak, so you never have to question that again, I would love to pray with you and for you. To be born again, to have the Spirit living in you, then you merely accept by faith, thanking Him for what he has done for you and accepting that life He has to offer you that can be yours.
Betty, what you are doing is this. Prayer does not save you. Your faith is what saves you. Prayer is an expression of your faith. Your willingness to do this is already a sign that you already exercise faith. What you are doing now is expressing to God the truth of that faith.
Betty agreed to pray with Bob, expressing this faith to God, repeating after Bob.
Bob and Betty: Lord, Jesus I need you. I thank you that you took away my sins at the cross, never to see them again. Having done this you were raised from the dead so that the life that raised me from the dead can raise me into the newness of life. I now ask you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior and my very best friend. In Jesus name.
Bob: The bible says that to as many that receive him he gave the right to become children of God.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Bob: You just received him, didn’t you?
Bob: So what have you become?
Betty: A child of God.
Bob: I too am a child of God. So what does that make us?
Betty: Brothers and sisters.
Bob: I would like to offer you a study guide. We send this out to people, for anyone who accepted Christ on the phone, or prayed along as someone else did, like you just did. Would you like to me to send that to you? It will point out all the scriptures that solidify what you just did. I also advise you to open up your bible and mark in your bible and write down the date, January 31, 2005, as the day you solidified your relationship with Christ. Therefore any time Satan lies to you, or casts doubt of your salvation, you point to this truth and tell him he is a liar and to go away for you are not listening to him.
Betty: Very good.
Bob is so thrilled and Betty acknowledges his excitement with her.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Betty: That said it. That right there.
Bob: Call at any time and do not hesitate to call.
Betty: The reason I called was about what flesh to flesh and spirit to spirit meant.
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Bob: You and I are born by water and the spirit. What that means is this. We are born naturally and we are born spiritually. That is what that passage is about.
Bob: Now hold onto the line and we will send the information we talked about earlier to you.